Google Chrome OS – 12 winners and losers

I don’t do analysis on breaking news .. but this one is too big

Google Chrome OS is one of the most significant announcements and I am wondering how it will impact many players

a) Microsoft – Direct competitor. Impacted. Will be on the defensive

b) Linux – Bad news. Becoming less relevant

c) Opera, Mozilla – bad news. Google gains traction at a much higher pace – (albeit not usage as a browser yet)

d) Nokia – Needs to accelerate. Will be forced to react. No longer driving agenda

e) Standardization .. Interesting .. does w3c have anything to say? Google drives Web agenda at a much faster rate

f) Webkit on Android – bad. Chrome will be dominant within Android at expense of webkit ( UPDATE: amended to Webkit on android. Thanks Peter Vesterbacka!)

g) Web – good news. Web takes centre stage

h) Advertising? Remember Google is not in the software game(that’s why it makes ‘software’ free. It is in the DATA game and by extension advertising). Google keeps getting better

i) Netbooks, Desktop and Cloud – Netbooks – positive. Probably the real target market of the OS; Desktop – no initial impact; Cloud – Potentially significant impact but too early to say


Increasingly, the PC may be a narrow definition ie you may use the PC to access most of your info from the Cloud. Thats why Google Chrome OS is significant since it impacts the cloud and hence affects the PC. I described Chrome as the client for the Cloud and increasingly thats where its heading. Cloud or Fog? The battle for supremacy in the cloud is not a dogfight but will be fought in the trenches.

In that sense, this announcement is interesting but Azure(Microsoft) will have greater commercial impact!


Microsoft Azure, Facebook and Twitter could be more significant than Google Chrome OS for both Web and Mobile because Data is the real issue …

j) OEMs – good. They have a choice. BUT also NEW OEMS will enter the market

k) Alliance? Not like OHA. The GOVERNANCE model for Chrome is strictly with Google(see previous blogs about governance models vs. licensing model

l) HTML5 – Good for HTML5. Google will run with it. And by extension it’s good for the web

Any more?


  1. Totally disagree re WebKit. And Android.
    The Chrome browser is based on WebKit, so this is just another win for WebKit. Nokia is using WebKit, Palm is using WebKit. And Apple obviously. Bigger challenge for Mozilla if nothing else.
    And the ChromeOS announcement puts an end to the Android netbook speculation, so you could also see Android as a looser here.
    Overall the ChromeOS vision is much better aligned with Google is all about than Android ever was.
    Does Android have a future now in light of ChromeOS?

  2. Ajit Jaokar says:

    well spotted! I meant WEBKIT within Android. I see Chrome being more important on mobile and maybe part of Android in future. Changed. thanks Rhds Ajit

  3. Don says:

    Some observations:
    - Chrome OS uses Linux under the covers.
    - Opera can file an antitrust suit against Google just like Netscape did on Microsoft a decade ago, ie, product bundling of OS and browser

  4. KyRuX says:

    WOW! looks like Google is entering in the war of Operating Systems… But on Linux side, because ChromeOS is Linux-based (like Android), so GOOD NEWS for LINUX, we gonna win this war, hahaha xD
    “Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel”

  5. Ajit Jaokar says:

    so GOOD NEWS for LINUX, we gonna win this war, hahaha xD
    Not so fast :) what I meant is we saw the same impact on mobile. OS (linux) becomes less relevent with Android(the whole stack). Yes, shipments may increase but relevence definately decreases rgds Ajit

  6. Ajit Jaokar says:

    - Opera can file an antitrust suit against Google just like Netscape did on Microsoft a decade ago, ie, product bundling of OS and browser
    ha ha! but seriourly both the browser and the OS are becoming increasingly irrelevent and the cloud is becoming more relevent which does not depend as much on the browser / OS – with the exception that the cloud may need a client. Increasinly I see Chrome(which is a mix of browser and OS) to be a client for the cloud(and there wil be other clients) rgds Ajit

  7. VoteTheDay says:

    We invite everybody to speculate on the outcome of the battle ‘Google Chrome OS-Windows’. Is Google going to knock Microsoft down? Or Windows will never be defeated as the most popular OS? Tell us –

  8. saar says:

    It’s funny that through all of the google hype, I haven’t heard even one mention of Microsoft Azure.
    I’d expect more comparisons.

  9. Ajit Jaokar says:

    thanks Saar. I have modified the post. Happy to go on record to say that Azure will have a much bigger impact than Google Chrome OS. Probably a seperate blog kind rgds Ajit

  10. Michael Mulquin says:

    Other big losers should be the anti-virus anti-malware and security vendors. Unlike Microsoft, Google have explicitly said that “We are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work,” said Pichai.

  11. Ajit Jaokar says:

    Good point Michael. Antivirus is also free from microsoft and overall thats a good thing(with both google and msft giving free antivirus)

  12. James Pearce says:

    I think the point of the Chrome OS is that it isn’t really an OS.
    Presumably I could synthesise it with full-screen web browser & links to Google applications.
    (Or by having a bunch of Fluid SSBs for each Google app – wait! I do this on my Mac today).
    Underneath? A commodity layer of software (aka Linux) to make the hardware tick over.
    The OS becomes the BIOS, the browser becomes the OS.
    As for Microsoft being on the defensive? I’m sure the press like a fight.
    But check out their research announcement from the day *before* Chrome OS: – and also think back to IE4′s ‘Active Desktop’ in the late 1990s.
    Mix in some anti-trust and you have a glimpse of what Google might have ahead of them. I expect they plan to use open-source will be their get-out-of-jail card.
    Like ‘fake Steve’, I note that Google’s obsession with Microsoft is become a little eccentric.
    Mandatory reading: :-)